Thursday 22 March 2018

University brings in sex consent classes after students allegedly share explicit photos on Facebook page

University College Dublin will introduce mandatory sexual consent classes. (Stock photo)
University College Dublin will introduce mandatory sexual consent classes. (Stock photo)

Martin Grant and Laura Larkin

University College Dublin will introduce mandatory sexual consent classes for the first time in September - as officials try to track down students who reportedly shared intimate images of female students on a Facebook page.

Reports emerged last week that male students allegedly shared explicit pictures in a private Facebook group of women they had sexual relations with.

The student newspaper reported that a private Facebook group is being used to share images, including explicit images, of young women with whom participants have had sex.

University officials are now trying to identify any individuals involved in the alleged activity.

Marcus O'Halloran, president of the Students' Union in UCD, confirmed it was also conducting an investigation.

To date no evidence had been found, but any information that linked UCD students to 'revenge porn' or other privacy breaches would immediately be passed on to gardaí, he said.

In a letter sent by UCD Deputy President Mark Rogers to students, Mr Rogers outlined the details regarding the investigation.

He explained that the university is trying to "identity any students involved in posting inappropriate images of others without their consent".

Mr Rogers added that the university is trying to "reach out and identify any students victimised by the inappropriate social media posting" and will offer supports to those affected.

In his letter, Mr Rogers also stated that the Dean of Agriculture had contacted all agricultural students asking them to "come forward in confidence with any information" on the allegation.

"The investigation is progressing," Mr Rogers wrote.

Meanwhile, UCD Students' Union (UCDSU) confirmed that it expects consent classes will be rolled out across the university from September.

UCDSU President Marcus O'Halloran described the meeting with university president Andrew Deeks as "positive".

"The President was very quick to support us, and he said he doesn't feel that it would be adequate enough to just provide it for students that are incoming and living on residence, that he feels that it should be obligatory for all," Mr O'Halloran told UCD's 'University Observer' paper.

A Garda spokesman confirmed there is no investigation, adding that no complaint has been received in relation to the issue. UCD did not respond to queries.

Irish Independent

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